Secondary school teachers legal components of “Social Sciences” receive priority for AHRS courses as Human Rights, Civic Education, State and Law and Ethics are a mandatory parts of the state school curriculum.
Admission to the course is a two-stage process based on the following requirements:
- Stage 1 – Being a schoolteacher of “Social Sciences” and having a letter of recommendation from the school’s headmaster confirming that teaching of the legal components of “Social Sciences” will continue for at least 2 years after completion of the course.
- Stage 2 – An interview by means of a questionnaire.
THE ACADEMIC PROGRAMME
The duration of the study process at AHRS teachers of the legal components of “Social Sciences” is one year. It includes 34-day intensive (one 20-day and two 7-day sessions) and 11-month distance learning stages. The programme has been formulated based on the “State Conception and Programs of the legal components of Social Sciences for Secondary schools, “Social Sciences” textbooks and the “Human Rights” manual for teachers.
20 -day intensive session
The session begins with an orientation lecture on the Collaborative Teaching Methodology (CTM), which leaners reproduce in groups using Rivin’s Reverse Method.
With the help of a coordinating panel, which is structured around individual learning plans, the initiative of learners and course assistants, the learning process for each course participant is realised using CTM. The session is not interrupted by tea or coffee breaks. Instead, tea, coffee and sweets are always to be found in a room, and each learner is free to take a break whenever he/she needs. Common break is set only for lunch. Excursions, activities and competitions are organised on 2 days, which, in turn, contribute to the effective learning process for participants, as well as to the formulation of a positive atmosphere for the learning process.
Leading on from information accumulated on the last day of the 20-day session’s working plan, an individual assignment plan is made for each learner. The plan contains those particular subjects, which the learner has only partially assimilated or has not yet managed to study.
During the session, school directors are invited to attend for 2 days to better understand CTM and other teaching and learning methods.
On the last day of the session, each course participant organises and conducts a lesson on his/her own.
7- day sessions
The 7-day sessions are organised in the same way.
At the end of the second 7-day session, a closing assignment is organised which includes discussions of certain situations and components of evaluation and effectiveness.
At the end of the 20-day and 7-day intensive sessions, teachers are provided with manuals, appropriate literature, posters, thematic planning forms, tests and other necessary materials.
During both intensive sessions, guests from ACRPC’s international and national partner organisations (for example, the Human Rights Defender’s Office in Armenia, OSCE Yerevan Office, UNDP, UNICEF, Council of Europe Armenia, International Committee of the Red Cross, among others) are invited to provide lectures.
The duration of distance learning is 11 months. Throughout the distance learning process, 1-2 days of academic sessions are organised through CTM, which include individual planning forms.
The learners, by making use of Human rights libraries (HRL) as resource centres, continue to assimilate curriculum topics while teaching at secondary schools, by applying the same methods as well as organising real life discussions. They organise Human rights education (HRE) youth clubs, HRL readers’ councils, as well as participate in discussions about the methodological periodical of legal sciences For the Sake of Justice and the newspaper Legal Culture and correspond with publications.
The learners send their completed individual assignments to AHRS trainers. The trainers either approve them or make recommendations and remarks.
The learners are involved in HRE national network forum discussions and experience exchange conferences. The HRE national network forum also acts as a tool for the distance-learning process, where teachers share experience, information or queries with other course participants, AHRS graduates and experts to find solutions.
During the distance learning period, monitoring and evaluation visits are made to the schools of AHRS course participants. Participants are awarded certificates on the basis of pupils’ knowledge of human rights, showing the true transfer of knowledge and a change in attitudes and behaviour.
The Collaborative Teaching Method (CTM) was adopted as the main methodology, which has an essential advantage over the Common Front teaching method: in particular, Tact, Rivin’s Direct and Reverse, Thematic Co-transfer, Individual Co-checking Cards and other methods of the Collaborative Teaching are applied. Each course participant should follow his/her individual plan.
The methods are organised in a way that each course participant is given the opportunity to learn and teach independently, to assimilate the academic material by discussing it with his/her partner in the group.Each course participant is given the following opportunities:
- each student takes as much time as needed to learn one issue or topic.
- full participation in educational productive work
- development of collaboration skills
- the participant acts both as a learner and a teacher at the same time.
Each learner, after working in pairs or in one of the sub-groups for a certain time, leaves it, approaches the responsible person at the coordinating panel (the latter realises the coordination and distribution of tasks), receives a new assignment and, together with another learner, forms a new pair or joins an already-working sub-group.
The whole course is run by the coordinating panel, according to the individual plans of students.
To examine the results and quality of AHRS activity, the School has undergone many international evaluations, including those by: Marcel Zwamborn, Human Rights International Expert; Nana Dalakishvili, a specialist from Georgian Ministry of Education and International Expert in Human Rights Education; Felisa Tibbitts, Director of Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) and International Human Rights Expert, and Zhirayr Edilyan, Independent Expert.
In a 2008 evaluation of AHRS courses by Rob Watson of Frontier Consulting, supported by the Netherlands-based donor the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), it was quoted that “…Approximately one quarter of teachers in Armenia have been trained by AHRS and have increased human rights knowledge, with many sharing attitudes on human rights values. Most of them have become the carriers of legal cultural values, in the meantime contributing to the development of social, right-protective activities…with an average of 420 pupils per teacher, approximately 150,000 pupils have benefitted from AHRS during the past 5 years, which is approximately 6% of the Armenian Population.”
In August 2010, Arman Maloyan, an specialist from the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science’s National Institute of Education observed that, during the 15th advanced AHRS course “…The trainers were sufficiently experienced and skilled for the course to proceed with an interesting, productive and intensive working atmosphere. The teachers immediately got involved in the working process and managed to simultaneously learn both the collaborative teaching methods and the educational material taught through these methods...[The AHRS course] achieved its goals by improving teachers’ professional skills and contributing to the development of legal culture in Armenian society.”
All evaluation reports can be found on the ACRPC Report page.
The AHRS Course Regulations are available at Regulations (*doc, 114 KB):